The MLB trade deadline is close, and since every team has needs, we explore the ultimate 30-team trade to improve every major league club.
The days leading up to the MLB trade deadline are arguably the busiest and most stressful time of the season for major league front office executives. General managers must work the phones incessantly to improve their club, and GMs are always looking for creative solutions.
Whether a team is all-in on a postseason run, rebuilding for the future, or weighing its buying and selling options, all 30 major league clubs are involved in trade talks. Rebuilding teams want prospects, while contenders look to fill holes in their big league roster. Sometimes two teams make a perfect match. Other times, a third team must be involved.
In the pages that follow, we will go team by team, outlining the framework of every club’s involvement in 30-team fantasy trade deadline extravaganza. Our goal is to meet the needs of every club, positioning each team for success in 2017, or in the future depending on their current status.
Speculating on trades involving major league veterans and prospects is an inexact science given the fluctuations in the market in a given year. The consensus so far in 2017 is that we have a buyer’s market, meaning prices (in terms of talent) are generally low.
Also, it’s far easier (and cheaper) to acquire rental players, and most rentals can be had for one midlevel prospect, such as the deal that sent Jaime Garcia, Anthony Recker and cash from Atlanta to Minnesota Monday in exchange for Huascar Ynoa, a 19-year-old right-hander in Rookie League, ranked No. 22 on the Twins’ prospect list according to MLB.com.
With that in mind, we set out to strike the ultimate 30-team deadline deal.
1. Los Angeles Dodgers
Dodgers get RHP, Yu Darvish
LF, Delino DeShields
Rangers get CF, Joc Pederson
OF, Alex Verdugo
RHP, Andrew Sopko
We start with the best team in baseball. The Los Angeles Dodgers enter the week 68-31, and with a 10.5-game lead over the Colorado Rockies in the NL West. On paper, the Dodgers have shown no weaknesses this season. Los Angeles has allowed the fewest runs in the majors (332), and have an explosive enough offense to be one of just five clubs with more than 500 runs scored through Sunday.
Nevertheless, with perhaps the franchise’s best opportunity to win a World Series since 1988, plus one of the biggest budgets in the game and a deep farm system from which to trade, the Dodgers are likely to be active at the trade deadline. Clayton Kershaw’s back tightness, which caused him to leave Sunday’s start early, also ramped up the odds L.A. will look to add a starting pitcher at the trade deadline.
The best pitcher on the market is Yu Darvish, and though the Rangers are coming off a sweep of the Rays over the weekend, Darvish fits the Dodgers needs, and Texas might be willing given the star right-hander’s impending free agency.
Far from a simple rental, Darvish is likely to cost the Dodgers (or any team that hopes to trade for him) multiple top prospects or major league players. Los Angeles can go either route, and we’ll assume the Dodgers ship outfielder Joc Pederson to Texas, along with top outfield prospect Alex Verdugo and Double-A pitching prospect Andrew Sopko for Darvish and speedy left fielder Delino Deshields.